The Nigerian government has reiterated its commitment to transform the country into a fully digital economy, calling on all the agencies under the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and other industry stakeholders to key into the quest.
Speaking on behalf of the federal government at the maiden edition of Digital Nigeria Day (DND) 2020 hosted by the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, said the government led by President Muhammadu Buhari has re-emphasized its unflinching commitment to support the drive to leverage Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to transform Nigeria into a fully digital economy.
At the industry stakeholders with the theme: ‘Digital Economy : A new Frontier for Economic Prosperity’, Pantami narracted that, following the name change of the ministry to reflect the new vision of the Federal Government for a truly digital economy, the Ministry, in collaboration with its agencies and industry players, have worked tirelessly to develop policy document in this direction.
Based on this, Dr. Pantami cited the World Economic Forum (WEF) report, which documents the huge economic potentials of digital economy has developed the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2030, the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP), 2020-2025 and several other policy initiatives to ensure effective digitisation of the Nigerian economy both from public and private sector perspectives.
He also listed the various initiatives the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy has embarked upon in the last one year, disclosing the Ministry’s efforts have culminated in impressive 17 per cent ICT contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by the second quarter of 2020.
”These efforts are a testament to ongoing effective implementation of the digital economy policies already put in place,” he said.
Meanwhile, according to the Minister, some of the challenges in the industry are being collaboratively addressed with emphasis on provision of digital skills to Nigerians and ensuring the citizens are protected online in line with our mandates as a Ministry.
In their goodwill messages, the Executive Vice Chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, restated his resolve to work with the Ministry towards achieving the digital economy vision of the Federal Government.
In particular, Danbatta, being the Co-Chair, organising committee for the event, thanked the Minister for his pragmatic leadership, which is enhancing the performance of the ICT industry in Nigeria. “We are confident that achieving targets of the digital economy policy and broadband policy will help us achieve increased digital access, reduce digital divide, enhance digital culture and ultimately ensure the realisation of a knowledge-based economy for the country,” Danbatta said.
Representatives of industry associations such as the Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Association of Licensed Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ALTON), Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) and Certified ICT Manufacturers of Nigeria (CIMON) delivered their goodwill messages, promising their continuous support to government initiatives and policies towards driving the frontiers of digital economy for Nigeria’s socio-economic prosperity.